You have probably heard the legend of Elizabeth Báthory hundreds of times though you may not know her name. She has been referred to as the Blood Countess and rumored to be a vampire. This monstrous woman has made her place in history and folklore and appeared in hundreds of forms through film and literature, all because of her gruesome crimes.
With a possible 650 victims she is the most allegedly the most prolific female serial killer, though the number varies. Countess Elizabeth Báthory (born August 7th, 1560) came from a well-respected Hungarian family and married Ferenc Nádasdy when she was just fifteen years old. She was often left alone in her castle, Čachtice, in Slovakia, while her husband was traveling; it was in his absence that she enacted her crimes. Báthory, with the help of several accomplices (two old woman and a disfigured boy), began luring local girls to her castle with the prospect of a job where she would then torture them to death.
Although much of the Countess’ ghoulish exploits were probably exaggerated, or even completely falsified, this terrifying figure definitely had an effect on hundreds of artists. To this day people are still influenced by the ghastly Mrs. Báthory; her likeness has appeared in many different films, books, art and even video games.
There have been several bands named after the Blood Countess—the most popular being the Swedish metal band, Bathory—and even more songs written for her. She has appeared in comics, novels, documentaries, and stage productions.
|Kathy Bates as Delphine LaLaurie on AHS:Coven|
While the truth may be stretched, there is no doubt that Elizabeth Báthory was a terrible woman. Sadistic, psychotic, but undeniably fascinating. She has captured the interest of countless human beings, and undoubtedly will continue to do so as long as her name is kept alive.